PHOTO GALLERY: Featherstone Lions overcome Liam Kay’s injury to do the double over Wigan St Patricks
Millpond’s men have had to make do with an ever-changing squad for most of the season, but despite several line-up changes the Lions were quickly in their suspenders with rookie prop Jack Arnold making notable inroads in defense of the St Pats and continued. to win 30-16.
Wigan’s initial woes were largely self-inflicted as they left their discipline on the bus and after a succession of early penalties, Jake Roberts blasted his way in for the first try, which Liam Kay converted.
The visitors hit par from a kick and chase that saw the gang of fullback Liam Kay tackled and thrown unceremoniously in front of the sticks. This time the referee opted not to penalize the lift and drop kick which saw Kay taken off the pitch and in the resulting scrum Wigan scored near the posts, the conversion making it 6-6.
A reshuffling of Featherstone’s back line placed returning Malta international Alfie Jewitt at the back to stabilize the Lions’ ship and Featherstone’s continued rise forward paved the way for three more forward tries halftime, with Harley Axe, Sam Millard and Mike Wise taking halftime. -time score at 20-6 with a conversion from Wise.
Ax’s try was the pick of the tries, backing a line break from Chris Bingham to get away from the halfway line, scattering the tacklers on the way to the score.
The second half felt like the game was beyond the visitors and in full control of the Lions, but surprisingly the momentum nearly triggered a Wigan sending-off.
A hit on Jake Roberts with the ensuing red card reduced Wigan to 12 and had an immediate galvanizing effect on the visitors.
The Lions faltered for a while and the St Pats took advantage of their strong full-back to create some nifty attacking lines to set up two tries that brought Wigan back in contention to just 20-16.
Normal serve resumed in the final quarter, however, as Sam Millard and Harley Ax both crossed to complete a pair of tries and another Mike Wise conversion gave the Lions a comfortable and deserved final margin of 30. -16.
Before the game, there was a minute’s applause for one of the Lions’ most loyal and longest-serving supporters, Deborah Redfearn, who died last weekend.
His nephew Kieran Redfearn did the family name proud with an excellent performance on the Lions wing.
This Saturday, the Lions are at home against Skirlaugh.
Photographer Jonathan Buck was at the Millpond to capture the action of the game and here is a preview of his images: